“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Last week I skipped a thought that I wanted to explore to post something spontaneous, and I hope as meaningful for our Alliance group as it was for me. Sometime in early May 2014 I am envisioning sitting on the beach looking over the Ocean at sunrise and chanting I Ku Mau Mau
So to pick up where we left my mentor and early basketball coach (not personally but when you grow up in shadow of UCLA, all the coaches taught Wooden B’ball) John Wooden named Enthusiasm as one of the cornerstone to Wooden’s triangle of success.
Coupled with persistence (or determination) the fellow that practices and keeps these two traits exercised will be a long way towards success.
When our children were of the “schooling” age, we chose to Home Educate them. This gave us the freedom to broaden their education in ways and means not so formal.
One field trip we enjoyed was going to a grade school in Topeka and taking the class for an hour or so and introducing a Character trait to the children. We would do songs, tell stories and teach them about different character traits and how important it is to practice them, even when no one is looking (the true test of character).
This became so much a part of our life that I joined up with our Church who ran a Bus ministry to underprivileged areas in downtown KC. We would drive out to the kid’s homes and pick them up Sunday morning and become their Church family for the day.
As the children grew too old for Children’s Church we found that they were still not ready to sit through a worship service. One of our Pastors came up with an idea called Teen church.
This is the group I joined and was able to introduce a fifteen minute character trait sketch every Sunday with them. I took you down this memory lane for a point of clarification. As my daughter read my blog from two weeks ago she noticed that I was using material from the Character First training, though not completely verbatim an edited version or as I say heavily leveraged. Nevertheless credit should be given where credit is due.
So this little list for practicing enthusiasm comes from our training with Character First!
The “I Ams” (changed from wills) of Enthusiasm
I am an energy-giver
Everyone loves and respects an energy-giver. These are the people who never need to be reminded of their work. They volunteer to do task others would resist. Energy givers maintain a good attitude while they work. A giver of energy gives energy. Energy-takers and energy-wasters, on the other hand, are the ones who float through life without contributing much to anyone’s goals but their own. Ask daily, “Am I giving or taking energy?”
The most attractive thing you can wear is a smile! A smile is contagious. A smile comes natural when you see another person smiling. Smiling improves health. Experiments were made with actors. They were told to use expressions unrelated to the way they were feeling. During these test, their heart rates rose and fell according to their expressions. A smile does more than improve health and make your face attractive. A smile brings beauty from the inside out.
I treat every job as important
If you enjoy a job, enthusiasm comes naturally. It is difficult to be enthusiastic if you do not feel enthusiastic. Practicing enthusiasm will give new perspective to menial tasks. Everything we do has an end result. Keeping the end result in view will build enthusiasm for those difficult tasks.
I put my whole heart into what I do
Successful lives require effort. Success requires going the “second mile.” Extra investment pays off in the long run. Giving half our best yields half the results. The Lord is our example. He went the extra mile for us.
I am not discouraged by failure
It’s easy to become discouraged when met with discouragement. Enthusiasm is seeing beyond the failure to the lessons and benefits of the failure.
To close a thought and a poem that came about as the Master Key lessons saturated my Spirit, Mind and Soul.
“…it is not necessary to outline the method by which the subconscious will produce the results you desire. The finite cannot inform the Infinite. You are simply to say what you desire, not how you are to obtain it.” ~ C. Haanel The Master Key
As I attempted to wrap my mind around this statement it at first seemed so foreign. I am accustomed to writing and planning to make the desire happen. However the activity though not wrong is misplaced it is in the stillness that a thing is desired and formed with the mind. The specifics for attaining the desire will come about yet how many times have we planned and planned to say “the best laid plans of mice and men” meaning that the desire is manifesting just not quite how we expected it to. It is in the stillness of the mind that you introduce a desire. Let your thoughts dwell, engage your emotions, use your imagination and know that that which you desire is possible.
Then quite clearly the self confidence to achieve that desire will be evident and clear. This little children’s poem expresses the subtle yet profound idea of a desire dreamed about yet left unplanned until the self confidence and clarity of what to do became apparent.
Two Frogs In Cream
Two frogs fell into a can of cream,
Or so I’ve’ heard it told:
The sides of the can were shiny and steep,
The cream was deep and cold.
“O, what’s the use?” croaked Number 1,
“Tis fate; no help’s around.
Good-bye, my friends. Good-bye, sad world”
And weeping still, he drowned.
But Number 2, of sterner stuff,
Dog-paddled in surprise.
The while he wiped his creamy face
And dried his creamy eyes.
“I’ll swim awhile, at least,” he said –
Or so I’ve heard he said:
“It really wouldn’t help the world
If one more frog were dead.”
An hour or two he kicked and swam,
Not once he stopped to mutter;
But kicked and kicked and swam and kicked.
Then hopped out, via butter
Until next week….